Safeguarding Your Finances: How to Protect Yourself from Impersonation Scams

Taking about cyber-security is as ubiquitous as being hit up to complete a survey, but unfortunately it just isn’t going away.

We are aware that many of our financial planning peers and their clients have been impacted by various scams, and the sophistication of some of these scams is astounding. They engage in research before making contact; create websites, email templates and even call centers; and have carefully worded scripts incorporating real bank employee details and real client details scrapped from various sources.

Tips that may help when it comes to avoiding impersonation scams include:

  • If it is an unsolicited contact, don’t click on anything or engage in conversation. Ask for a reference number then call the provider directly on a telephone number you obtain from public sources. Don’t all them back on numbers provided in the unsolicited contact.
  • If they are promoting a sense of urgency, that you need to act now to stop some disaster unfolding, be suspicious. Seriously, have you known anything to happen in a hurry when it comes to dealing with big institutions?
  • Some of the best scammer success is via them pretending to be from fraud teams. They may tell you that you need to do something to stop false charges, or to get refunds, or to restart access to your accounts. Don’t engage – just call the provider directly on a publicly sourced number. Sitting on hold for a while (okay, potentially a long while) is a better option than being scammed.
  • If any party ever asks you to provide a code generated from your banking apps…don’t. Ever. It can be difficult as some firms send codes to phones so they can check they are talking to the actual client, but if anyone ever asks you to provide a code generated from your banking apps…don’t. Ever.
  • We are your holistic adviser, here to help protect and grow your wealth amongst other things. If you are in any doubt re contacts from financial institutions, please call us.